Manchester United’s first trip to Elland Road to face Leeds United in a Premier League outing for 18 years should have been dominated by talk of their fierce rivalry on the pitch, but instead all the talk pre-match continued to be about the controversial European Super League.
The Leeds faithful made their feelings clear on the idea of the European Super League with a banner hung outside Elland Road ahead of the game that directly addressed not just Manchester United, but all of the big six sides including Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
All of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ sides announced late last Sunday evening (April 18) that they had joined forces with elite clubs in both Spain and Italy to form effectively a new version of the Champions League – but without any of the jeopardy.
None of the sides would face relegation, while no external clubs would be able to join via a qualification process. The idea also put the future of the Premier League in doubt, as there was the possibility the league’s biggest teams would sacrifice their place in the English football pyramid if they were banned from participating in both by Premier League officials.
The plans were scrapped shortly after they were announced, such was the fierce backlash from fans of both the English clubs involved and fans of all other teams in the Premier League as well as other divisions.
Leeds fans continued to make their voices heard of ahead of their clash with Manchester United at Elland Road on Snday, with a banner that condemned the owners of all of the teams involved in the Super League while also calling on fans to unite.
The banner read: “ESL and MUFC – Just a tactical, temporary withdrawal, we see!
“Until your PR agents and media can reframe a package and construct an acceptable narrative and plan for your greedy selfish followers to push this through in two years time. We know who you are, we know you from old!
“Manchester United! Nonsense! What a joke! Find a new, more appropriate name! This was always coming, given the soulless, win at all costs, plastic, shallow, selfish worthless money monster you have made of yourselves! MUFC have fed off and DIVIDED, not united, football and communities, you are killing football! Children should be encouraged to support their community and play fairly and not bully people by exclusion!
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“The LEEDS family is fully UNITED with and in full support of and shoulder to shoulder with all true LFC, MCFC, AFC, THFC fans and with the few remaining genuine MUFC and CFC fans (whose clubs have been hijacked by power mongers and shallow weak minded glory hunters) and together we’re fans UNITED, we’ll never be divided!! We’re fans UNITED!! We’ll NEVER be divided!!
“Earn it on the pitch! Football is for the fans!”